From the Gravid Woman (after the miscarriages)

Ash: “You still don’t understand what you’re dealing with, do you? Perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.” ~Alien (1979), directed by Ridley Scott

No more will I pray please don’t take from me
again, as I sit at the burnt edges of my body
& wait for the unleashing. I’m here to tell you
I’m fine: fierce-tongued, strong
as cartilage. My bones have softened
& I change shape in the dark. Will you
meet me in daylight? Elsewhere,
my enemies eat air & sharpen their teeth
on a sundial. I used to sit so still
next to my father watching old Westerns
as a girl, not wanting the cage of a hoop
skirt. The days of my life still
grey & distant. Now, I am the woman
in black where no one has died. I hold life
& death like a pit deep inside. I can
cobble a few of us into someone
full-grown. But I have to kill to show
love. I can’t live quietly. The way I’m built
isn’t wrong: eyes of yellow & green
that can see through fluid & false light. I’m not
hard to find—I’ve been waiting in shadow
for the right moment to show
myself. I used to fear outliving you,
but now I know I can’t live
unless I’m living on
the soup of your soft bones. The feathers
of your lashes. I’m only useful
when something is dying inside
me. I want you to live
longer than other babies
crushed by barbs in my belly. I’m not
a monster. A monster
would let everyone live
through the horrors we’ve found
on this planet. If I have to, I’ll bury you
inside me with each person
I’ve tried to save. Shriveled to paper
dolls, I hear them speak, sometimes,
& know how we’ll be forgotten.